Feast of Tabernacles 2016
We are happy you want to keep the 2016 Feast of Tabernacles with us in Schluchsee and we look forward to meeting you! The following information may help you plan your trip. If you decide to attend in Schluchsee, we request that you register for the Feast. (All prices listed are in U.S. dollars.)
Where is Schluchsee? Schluchsee is located in the southern Black Forest on the German B500 federal highway. Visitors arriving from the Frankfurt airport proceed on the A5 Autobahn south to the "Freiburg-Mitte" exit and journey east on the "B31" federal highway. After passing the "Titisee" exit, proceed south on the "B317" federal highway, where you can reach the "B500" highway just before reaching the Feldberg area, where the highest mountain in the Black Forest is located. Total driving time from Freiburg would be about 45 minutes under normal driving conditions.
From the Zürich airport proceed to Waldshut on the German side of the German-Swiss border. The "B500" federal highway proceeds north from Waldshut directly to Schluchsee.
Direct train service to Schluchsee is available on the German federal railway ("Deutsche Bahn"). Connecting trains to Schluchsee from the Freiburg station operate on a hourly schedule during normal business hours. At certain times of the day, Freiburg is accessible by direct connection from the Frankfurt airport train station. Because of the circuitous connections required, we do not recommend rail travel to Schluchsee directly from the Zürich airport.
Lodging in Schluchsee: Schluchsee offers a wide variety of lodging venues with a corresponding price range. For hotels and bed-and-breakfast lodging per-person lodging costs can range from $50 upwards per person per night. Vacation apartments run $75 to $125 per night, depending on the size of the group. Breakfast is included with any hotel or bed-and-breakfast lodging, and in hotels half-board meal arrangements range from $15 to $20 extra per person per day. Please remember that exchange rate fluctuations may influence the final price you will be paying for lodging during the Feast. (Prices were based on a euro-dollar exchange rate of approximately $1.15 per euro.) In addition to the cost of your lodging, there is a "vacation tax" of 2.60 EUR for adults (age 16 and above) and 0.90 EUR for children (ages 6-15) per person per night that will be added to your bill. You can make your own housing arrangements by visiting the Black Forest tourism lodging website. (Be sure to enter "Schluchsee" as part of your search in the "Gastgeber suchen & buchen" field in the search box in the left column.)
Cancellation fee: When you make your lodging reservation, you are agreeing to a legally binding rent contract with your lodging venue. This is standard practice in Germany (and also applies to other reservations like airline flights booked through travel agencies). German law provides that a lodging establishment be reimbursed for unrecovered losses suffered when a guest cancels his/her reservation on short notice and the lodging venue is unable to find a replacement for the guest. The lodging establishment is required to make a "good faith" effort to rent the room, and in most cases is successful in doing so. However, in those cases where the lodging establishment cannot rent the room, the guest may be obligated to pay up to 80% of the lodging expense. For this reason many Germans take out a "travel insurance policy" for a nominal fee which includes reimbursement for any expenses incurred when a guest has to cancel a reservation for unforeseen reasons. If this type of insurance is available to you, we strongly recommend that you make use of it. If you do have to cancel your reservation, please inform us as soon as possible.
Meals: For those international guests staying in a hotel or bed-and-breakfast lodging, breakfast is included in the price of your overnight. Depending upon your lodging venue, the breakfast will vary from a continental style breakfast to a modest breakfast buffet. In general there is no bottomless-cup in German restaurants, so please expect to pay extra for any coffee or tea that you order after your intitial serving, which is included with breakfast. A half-board meal plan can be arranged upon arrival at your hotel and will include breakfast and one other meal (either lunch or dinner). Drinks consumed with half-board meals are not included in the price for the half-board arrangement. You can indicate a non-binding interest in a half-board meal plan on your application form. We will convey this information to your lodging venue, but it will be your responsibility to make the final confirmation for the arrangement upon your arrival in Schluchsee.
Noon and evening meals are available at the Kurhaus Schluchsee restaurant (immediately adjacent to the hall where church services are held). These meals will be offered on a "pay-as-you-go" basis with no advance registration required. Reservations are recommended for the Holy Days.
Finances: Although major credits cards are becoming more widely accepted in Germany, most lodging establishments and restaurants in Schluchsee do not accept them. We will inform you whether your lodging venue does accept them. We recommend that you carry a modest amount of cash (in Euros) with you and have additional funds at your disposal in traveler's checks. Personal checks drawn against foreign bank accounts are not accepted for immediate payment in Germany. There are "money machines" available in Schluchsee at three locations for cash withdrawals using the major credit card systems.
On special request, we can provide you a receipt for U.S. income tax purposes for the Holy Day offerings. We can only issue a receipt for donations paid by check from a U.S. bank or given in cash (dollars or euros). When you register for the Feast, please indicate if you are interested in receiving more information about having your donation receipted.
English translation: There will be a simultaneous English-language translation available for any church service conducted in German. The English translation will be broadcast on a frequency to be announced within the normal FM broadcast band (88-108 Megahertz). To receive the translation, you will need to bring your own small FM radio with a headphone. Each person in your household/group will need his/her own FM radio.
Special music: International guests who have experience in their home church areas are welcome to volunteer to perform special music at the Feast in Schluchsee. Preference may be given to instrumental special music, since Schluchsee is a German-language feast site. However, if you perform vocal special music, you are welcome to vounteer as well. When you register for the Feast, please indicate whether you wish to perform special music or if you can accompany hymns on the piano.
Hymnals: UCG-Germany uses it own German-language hymnal based on the United Church of God hymnal. Please bring your own UCG hymnal (or the UCG Hymnal app) with you since we do not have copies of the English hymnal available for visitors.
Welcome service: The first service of the Feast will be held at 7:30 p. m. on Sunday, October 16. The venue for all church services will be the large "Kursaal" at the Kurhaus Schluchsee, located right in the center of Schluchsee adjacent to the Schluchsee Tourism office on the Lindenstrasse. There is an underground parking lot available at the Kurhaus Schluchsee, accessible from the Eschenweg street behind the Kurhaus Schluchsee.
Leisure activities: Schluchsee and the surrounding area offer a variety of leisure activities. More information is available in the free Schluchsee brochure available from the Schluchsee Tourism Office. The booklet is in German, but feel free to ask anyone from the festival congregation for help with a translation of any item you would like to know more about.